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Rutt was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1865 he moved with his parents to Atchison, Kansas where he attended St. Benedict's College (now Benedictine College). He worked for several years at newspapers in Leavenworth, Kansas and Texas.
In 1889 he attended a white minstrel show where the song "Old Aunt Jemima" was being performed. The minstrels had red bandanas in their hair, and wore aprons. He and Charles Underwood had recently bought the Pearl Milling company in St. Joseph. They trademarked the image. Unable to make it work they sold to the R.T. Davis Milling Company in St. Joseph. Davis would hire Nancy Green to portray the character at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.
In 1900 he was made editor for Gazette. In 1902 he became managing editor of the Daily News which would become the News-Press. According to St. Joseph newspaper lore at one point he would write an article in the morning Gazette and then refute it in the afternoon News.
Rutt continued as editor until his death in 1936.
- A History of Northwest Missouri edited by Walter Williams Published by The Lewis publishing company, 1915
- Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia Backbeat Books (August 23, 2005) ISBN 0-87930-841-9 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]
- St. Joseph News-Press: 150 years of St. Joseph News by Preston Filbert - News-Press & Gazette Co (1995)